American video game and software developer Epic Games has raised $1 billion in a funding round, which makes the “Fortnite” maker’s value at $28.7 billion.
Epic Games said in a statement that it has secured a $200 million investment from minority shareholder Sony Group Corporation, while it also raised funds from investors such as Appaloosa, Baillie Gifford, and KKR & Co Inc.
“We are excited to strengthen our collaboration to bring new entertainment experiences to people around the world,” Sony Group chief Mr. Kenichiro Yoshida said in a statement.
The new funding comes as Epic and Apple prepare to go to court over Epic’s attempt last year to escape paying a 30 percent App Store charge by introducing its own in-app payment scheme, a move that prompted Apple to ban Fortnite from its store.
According to the company, “Plans for the funding included building social experiences into Epic’s popular Fortnite and Rocket League games.”
“We are grateful to our new and existing investors who support our vision for Epic and the Metaverse,” said Epic founder and Chief Mr. Tim Sweeney.
Mr. Tim Sweeney will remain the controlling shareholder of the company after the latest investments, according to the reports.
“Their investment will help accelerate our work around building connected social experiences in Fortnite, Rocket League, and Fall Guys while empowering game developers and creators with Unreal Engine, Epic Online Services, and the Epic Games Store,” Mr. Sweeney said.
According to research firm NPD, people remaining at home during the COVID-19 pandemic have turned to video games for entertainment, resulting in a 35 percent increase in video game sales in February to around $4.6 billion.